Australian Executive

Managing Director/CEO – Chris Mandile
Chief Finance Officer – Hyuntai Oh
Communications Manager – John Taylor

SsangYong can quite rightly claim the mantle as the Korean SUV Specialists.

With a history stretching back longer than any other Korean auto manufacturer, SsangYong (literally 'double dragons') has continually invested in improving its line-up of customer-focused SUVs and Utes, designed to offer performance, safety and reliability in tandem with great value for money.

For more than 60 years it has engineered a variety of 4x4 vehicles for clients including the United States Army and since the 1986 merger of previous companies under the SY brand has concentrated almost exclusively on SUVs.

SsangYong originally started out as two separate companies; Ha Dong-hwan Motor Workshop (established in 1954) and Dongbang Motor Co (established in 1962). In mid-1963, the two companies merged into Ha Dong-hwan Motor Co and started building jeeps for the US Army as well as trucks and buses. After changing its name to Dong-A Motor in 1977 and taking control of Keohwa Motors in 1984, it was taken over by the SsangYong Business Group in 1986.

Keohwa, Ltd. was a South Korean assembler of Jeeps under licence, mainly for export markets. Its predecessor was the Jeep assembly joint venture between Shinjin Motors and American Motor Corporation (AMC), established in 1974. It was spun off as an independent company in 1981, after AMC left the venture and retired the permission to use the Jeep trade mark. In 1983, Jeeps built by Keohwa started to be named as "Korando". After Dong-A Motor was taken over by SsangYong Business Group, the company changed its name to SsangYong Motor in 1988.

In 1991, SsangYong struck a strategic alliance with Mercedes-Benz, sharing new diesel technologies, manufacture management and distribution. This led to the development and launch of a new SUV – the Musso – in 1993.

The Musso was one of the first SsangYong vehicles that made its way to Australian shores, launching here in 1997.

Utilising Mercedes Benz engine technology, SsangYong produced and launched the Rexton 4X4 in 2002, followed soon after by the first Korando Jeep and Stavic 7-seater people mover in 2004.

The Kyron 4x4 SUV followed, launching into Australia in January 2006, with the Actyon 4x4 SUV launched in October that same year.

The Actyon Sports Dual Cab Ute made its Australian debut in March 2007, quickly becoming a popular vehicle in the range, while the new Kyron was launched in early 2009, featuring a diesel particulate filter and an Australian-made 6-speed automatic transmission.

In 2010, Indian manufacturing giant Mahindra and Mahindra invested heavily in the SsangYong business, assuming a 73 per cent stake. This led to a considerable investment into new product, leading to the launch of an all-new line-up including the Tivoli and Tivoli XLV small SUV, the fourth generation Rexton large SUV and an all-new Musso Ute.

At the 2018 Geneva Motor Show SsangYong announced its intention to re-launch in Australia. Korea's SUV specialist will go on sale in Australia with the Tivoli, Rexton and Musso in late 2018.